Why Tungsten Carbide Jewelry?
Why Tungsten Carbide Jewelry?
What is Tungsten? Tungsten is a metal found in several ores and has robust physical properties. It has the highest melting point of all the non-alloyed metals and is second to carbon of the elements.
Tungsten carbide is one of the most durable and scratch resistant jewelry available.
What gives Tungsten Carbide itís hard, scratch resistant property?
The way tungsten carbide is made is so interesting. Tungsten, carbon and other elements like cobalt or nickel are ground into a powder. They are compressed with high-pressure dyes to form a round blank (for rings). The blank is then fired in an oxygen free furnace at 2400 degrees Fahrenheit to form an extraordinarily hard ring. Rings are then cut and shaped using diamond tools with approximately 30 steps required for completion. The cutting and shaping of a tungsten carbide ring is similar in many ways to the cutting and polishing of a rough diamond. The rings can then be inlaid with gold, silver, platinum, Mokume, or Shakudo. The inlay is created by grinding a channel in the center of the ring and compressing the metal into it under extreme pressure. The ring is then polished with diamond polishing tools and wheels. This creates a permanent luster and polish that is not possible with other metals.
There are many different kinds of tungsten carbide jewelry. Tungsten carbide can be changed significantly within the carbide manufacturers sphere of influence, determined by grain size, cobalt content, dotation and carbon content. Some people have shown an allergy to cobalt. Thus, many of the tungsten carbide Jewelry manufacturers have cobalt free jewelry replacing the cobalt with nickel.
So why Tungsten Carbide?
Tungsten Carbide is the only rare and exotic metal that can promise a permanence in polish and finish that will endure as long a the wearer bears it. Rings made from gold, platinum, and even titanium all become significantly less attractive over time. The patterns and design in many gold rings will all but disappear after several years. For me, it didnít take several, but two years for the brushed finish on my gold wedding band to rub off. I take it back and get it re-brushed every few years so that it looks like it did when my wife gave it to me.
Tungsten carbide jewelers are able to guarantee that their ringís shine for life. The reason why? The chance of it ever getting scratched or dulled is extremely low. Tungsten Carbide rings will and do maintain a lasting, beautiful, shiny finish. To the wearer tungsten carbide jewelry speaks of commitment and security to the couples who choose Tungsten Carbide for their wedding bands due to it everlasting nature.
What Mokume Gane and Shakudo? I mentioned a few inlays commonly used in Tungsten Carbide rings, Mokume Gane and Shakudo. These two inlays are really the same thing just with different metals used in the manufacturing process. Mokume Gane (moh-ku-may Gah-nay) is ancient Japanese metalworking developed in feudal Japan by master sword smiths. This is a technically difficult and time-consuming process. The process begins by stacking layers of different colored metals and heating them to 1400 degrees under extreme pressure for 10 hours. This allows the atom from gold and other metals to fuse together, forming distinctive patterns. The metal is then forged and rolled to set the crystal structure. Finally the Gold and other metal ate manipulated by twisting and curving to expose the multiple layer, thereby forming unique ring patterns. No Mokume Gane or Shakudo rings will look alike!
Mokume is usually made with white Palladium and either silver or 18k green gold. Shakudo usually has 90-95% copper and 5-10% pure gold, layered with either sterling silver or 14k yellow Gold. Shakudo tends to have a darker and more deliberate pattern than Mokume. However, both of them are equally gorgeous!
- Contact Information
- Morgan Young
- Author/Jewelry Enthusiast
- Absolute Tungsten
- Contact via E-mail
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